I'm in love with Washington, DC. So here's my new life plan: marry Brooks Laich, buy a row house in Georgetown, hang out in a suite in Verizon Center, eat delicious cupcakes, and do yoga and write novels on M Street for the rest of ever always. That's perfection for you, ladies and germs.
Okay, not really. But I really do love DC. There's something about government towns that I find inherently appealing. Ladies here wear classy, old-school, Jackie O. dresses and triple strand pearls and fabulous shades to work and men wear nice suits and ties and leather loafers and look like adults (as opposed to the overgrown children who walk the streets of Vancouver). I like that. I like that more than I realized. I like that so much I want to find the equivalent city in Canada and move there immediately. Only I don't think a single city in Canada is like DC. I'm not sure there's anywhere in the world with the same attitude as this city, and I think I like that.
I've been living in places I didn't really like for so long that it feels liberating to be in a city (even just visiting) where I actually feel comfortable. I like the style here. I like that it's pretty and vibrant and that people here run a lot. I like that there are trees everywhere in Georgetown and that all the houses there are painted pretty colours and that the old stable-style doors are still in use. I like that the sidewalks are uneven cobble stone but that ladies here still wear heels. I like that the National Mall is crawling with tourists, but that locals don't mind pointing you in the right direction when you want to walk to Dupont Circle. And I really like how warm it is.
I've missed summer. I've missed being out in summer heat with places to go and things to see and a reason to be sweating off my eyeliner. I appreciate the relief of ducking into an air-conditioned movie theatre for a couple of hours to fend off the worst of the afternoon heat, but I think sweating is good for the soul.
I've been spending a lot of the last four days walking around DC. It's a remarkably walkable city, even the parts that maybe aren't designed to be for tourists sake. I walked from where I'm staying in Arlington to the Kennedy Center. It's MAYBE a half-hour walk. Along the Potomac river. Which is a really nice walk. I am so in love with this city! I also walked all over the National Mall, saw so many Renoirs at the National Gallery that my eyes hurt, saw a Van Gogh self-portrait (see below), the Hope Diamond, and visited the US Botanical Garden, which is a little piece of heaven on earth.
That was just my first morning here. Since then I've had dinner by Dupont Circle, I've seen Watergate, the Kennedy Center, and part of Rock Creek Park, I've walked around the tidal basin and seen the MLK, FDR, and Jefferson monuments, spent a lot of time in Georgetown and I've eaten famous cupcakes for breakfast, Thunder Burger for dinner, Ben & Jerry's for dessert and gotten tipsy debating perception of "America" drinking peach beer somewhere in Virginia. As vacations go, this one is ... well, maybe one of the best ever.
And I've still got three more full days in DC before I have to catch my train home to Canada. Woohoo! The Washington Navy Yard and the remaining Smithsonians should consider themselves warned. ;)